If you want to keep your feet dry as well as safe, you’re in the right place with our guide to the best waterproof boots for work.
Work boots are designed to protect you as you work, but not all of them are waterproof. We’ve gathered 5 of the best waterproof work boots out there, so you can hopefully find some that suit your needs.
The bottom line up front: we really like the Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock Waterproof Shoe, because we think it has top-notch waterproofing credentials.
We also like:
- Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Industrial Shoe – ideal for cold weather
- Irish Setter Men’s Aluminum Toe Work Boots – best for electrical hazard protection
Keep reading to find out more about them. We’ll be looking at:
- What to look for in waterproof boots for work
- 5 of our favorites, including their key features, pros, and cons
- Some frequently asked questions about waterproof work boots
- Which ones we like the best, and why
Let’s start by looking at the key features you should look for in a new pair of waterproof work boots/!
Table of Contents
- Best Waterproof Boots for Work Compared
- What to Look for in Waterproof Boots for Work
- Top 5 Best Waterproof Boots for Work
- Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Industrial Shoe – Best for Cold Weather
- Irish Setter Men’s Aluminum Toe Work Boots – Best for Electrical Hazard Protection
- ROCKROOSTER Work Boots for Men – Best for Wide Feet
- Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock Waterproof Shoe – Best Waterproofing
- Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial Boot – Good All-Rounder
- Frequently Asked Questions
- To Sum Up – Which Are the Best Waterproof Boots for Work?
Best Waterproof Boots for Work Compared
What to Look for in Waterproof Boots for Work
Here are a few key features to look for when buying waterproof work boots:
Comfort is key for any type of footwear, but this is especially true for work boots. The last thing you want when you’re on your feet all day is to be wearing ill-fitting shoes that pinch or hurt your feet in any way. Look for boots that have a good reputation for being comfortable, even after hours of wear.
A reinforced toe area is important for safety reasons. There are three main materials used to reinforce the toe area of work boots:
- Aluminum – this will last for a long time, but it is heavier than the other types. It also doesn’t offer protection against heat or electricity.
- Composite – commonly made from plastic or carbon fiber, these offer good protection for your feet. They also have the advantage of not conducting heat or electricity.
- Steel – this is a common material for work boots. It’s extremely durable and not too heavy. However, it does conduct electricity, so may not be suitable if you work in that area.
You can read more about the difference between steel and composite toe work boots in this article by Enfield Safety.
Not all situations require reinforced toes, and you can find soft toe work boots. These are good if you require some protection and durability but want to avoid the heavy weight that comes with materials like aluminum and steel.
There are a few common materials used to make work boots:
- Leather – full-grain leather is great for many reasons. It’s durable, tough, and comfortable to wear while providing support. They can be heavy to wear.
- Nylon – nylon has the advantage of being lightweight. They’re not as durable as leather, but ideal if you want to avoid something too heavy.
- Synthetic – made from a variety of materials, synthetic work boots are durable and comfortable, and may be a little cheaper to buy than leather work boots.
If you’re working with electricity, you need a pair of boots that can protect you – Occupational Health and Safety has a guide on what to look for in terms of dielectric and electrical hazard shoes.
Once you find a comfortable pair of work boots, you won’t want to let them go in a hurry. Look for a pair of boots that are durable and long-lasting – you’ll be putting them through their paces, so you want them to be reliable in all sorts of conditions. The soles of the shoes should be tough and durable, which is really important when you’re working on a construction site – your boots should protect you if you tread on a loose nail, for example.
There is a difference between ‘waterproof’ and ‘water-resistant’.
Water-resistant shoes will provide you with a small amount of protection against water. They’re often sprayed with waterproofing materials, in the same way that tents are treated for waterproofing (like those in our guide to the best waterproof tents), which doesn’t last forever – so even if they do keep the water out, they’re not going to last as well as waterproof boots.
Waterproof boots will keep your feet dry even if they’re exposed to water for longer periods. You can stand right in the water and your feet should remain dry. Heat-sealed seams are a good feature to look for, as this can stop water from trickling through at the seams.
If you’re working in cold conditions, insulated boots are going to be very important. Insulated boots can provide warmth in freezing temperatures but may be too warm and stuffy in warmer weather, so you might need a separate pair for different times of the year depending on where you live and work.
Heel and Ankle Support
Wearing shoes with bad heel and ankle support over time can cause you short-term discomfort and possibly even long-term pain or issues with your feet, ankles, or even your spine – WiseWorkSafe has an article about the dangers of poor safety footwear.
Work boots can get pretty heavy, which can cause your feet and legs to get tired after a lot of wear. Heel and ankle support can help make this more comfortable using padding or cushioning.
Top 5 Best Waterproof Boots for Work
Now, let’s look at our top 5 best waterproof boots for work. We’ll go into their pros and cons and their key features, so you can see if they suit you.
Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Industrial Shoe – Best for Cold Weather
- Weight: 1.81lbs / 0.82kg
- Insulated: Yes
- Toes: Soft
The Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Industrial Shoe is great for waterproofing, thanks to the leather and rubber construction and sealed seams. They hold up well even in prolonged exposure to water, which is great.
In terms of safety, these do not have reinforced toes. This means they may not be suitable for you if you work on a construction site or in an area with a lot of hazards. They have electrical hazard protection, which is helpful.
In terms of comfort, these are great. They have good ankle support and heel support, and they’re comfortable even after a long day at work. They’re also excellent for colder weather, thanks to the Thermolite insulation (Thermolite is a lightweight material made from Polyester fibers, and it’s great for retaining heat). So, although these may not suit you if you’re on a construction site, they could work well if you have to work outdoors in cold weather.
- Waterproofing is good
- Comfortable to wear
- Good ankle support
- Insulated for extra warmth
- Doesn’t have reinforced toes
Irish Setter Men’s Aluminum Toe Work Boots – Best for Electrical Hazard Protection
- Weight: 2.6lbs / 1.17kg
- Insulated: No
- Toes: Aluminum
The Irish Setter Men’s Aluminum Toe Work Boots are made from leather and rubber, which makes them waterproof. However, the waterproofing may need ‘topping up’ with a waterproofing spray every so often – we’d recommend the Kiwi Select All Protector.
These boots have reinforced toes made from aluminum, and they work well to keep your toes safe from sharp or heavy objects. They’re designed to protect you from electrical hazards, and they’re also heat resistant up to 475 degrees Fahrenheit (246 degrees Celsius). So, they’re great from a safety perspective.
They’re comfortable to wear, even after hours of use, and they have good ankle, heel, and arch support. The aluminum used in the toe area is fairly lightweight despite being protective, although these are obviously heavier than soft-toe boots. They’re not insulated, which means they won’t work for very cold temperatures, but they’re breathable enough to work for warmer climates.
- Lots of safety features
- Good ankle, heel, and arch support
- The waterproofing may need topping up from time to time
ROCKROOSTER Work Boots for Men – Best for Wide Feet
- Weight: 3.2lbs / 1.45kg
- Insulated: Yes
- Toes: Steel
The ROCKROOSTER Work Boots for Men are technically advertised as water resistant, rather than waterproof. However, they still hold up well in terms of keeping water out, and with a bit of waterproofing spray (like the Kiwi Select All Protector), they’re really great at keeping water at bay.
These boots have reinforced toes made from steel. However, they’re not good for working around heat or electricity. They’re sturdy with anti-slip rubber soles, and they’re good for dissipating static.
What makes these boots great is the comfort factor. They’re insulated, so they’re good for colder weather, and they’re comfortable, even for those with wider feet. The inside is made from memory foam, keeping your feet cushioned all day, and they’re treated with ROCKROOSTER’s COOLMAX technology, which keeps moisture away from the body – helping you to stay cool if your feet do tend to get warm as you work.
- Great water resistance even before treating with waterproofing spray
- Steel toes are reliable and durable
- Comfortable and supportive
- Not completely waterproof, so will need treatment with a spray
- Not good for use around electricity or extreme heat
Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock Waterproof Shoe – Best Waterproofing
- Weight: 2.22lbs / 1kg
- Insulated: No
- Toes: Composite
The Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock Waterproof Shoe is good from a waterproofing perspective. The leather keeps water at bay, and they come with a waterproof membrane on the inside. They also have a leather heel for better waterproofing, as well as improved abrasion resistance.
These boots have reinforced toes made from a composite material – it’s a non-metallic, lightweight material. It does provide great impact and compression protection, despite being fairly light to wear. They have electrical hazard protection, which is good, but they don’t offer protection against extreme heat.
The boots have anti-fatigue technology, which means the shape has been designed for maximum comfort even after a long day of wear. They have good ankle, heel, and arch support. They’re not insulated, which means they won’t help you in freezing temperatures, but despite that, they’re still quite warm to wear.
- Great waterproofing
- Composite reinforced toes are very protective
- Comfortable to wear
- Won’t protect you in extreme temperatures
Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial Boot – Good All-Rounder
- Weight: 2.6lbs / 1.17kg
- Insulated: No
- Toes: Steel
The Caterpillar Men’s Threshold Waterproof Steel Toe Industrial Boot is good for waterproofing – even if you’re working in very muddy or wet conditions, they should keep your feet nice and dry.
They have reinforced toes made from steel. They’re fairly heavy, but they do offer great protection. They also have shock-absorbing soles that are good for slip resistance. The downside is that they’re not rated as being suitable for electrical work. They also won’t protect your feet in extreme heat.
These are very comfortable boots, despite their weight – they feel great even after a full day of wear. They’re not insulated, but they’re still quite warm to wear, and they offer great ankle support.
- Good waterproofing
- Protective steel toes and shock-absorbing soles
- Comfortable and warm
- Doesn’t offer electrical or heat protection
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about waterproof work boots:
Can I use my work boots for hiking?
If your work boots are heavy, they won’t work well for hiking – it will cause you to become tired quickly on long climbs. Soft-toe work boots can work well if you find them comfortable to wear.
If you’re looking for something for warmer climates, check out our Teva vs Chaco walking sandal comparison, or our guide to the Best Walking Sandals for Women. You might also be interested in our guide to the best hiking watches, the best ponchos for hiking, and the best hiking sunglasses.
Should work boots be loose or tight?
Work boots shouldn’t be loose, or you’ll risk them starting to slip off as you work. However, they shouldn’t be so tight that they’re cutting off your circulation.
Are work boots bad for your feet?
Only if you wear the wrong kind. Ill-fitting or uncomfortable work boots can cause you problems after a lot of wear, but a supportive and comfortable pair should be fine for your feet. Generally speaking, work boots can protect you in a lot of ways and are definitely worth the investment – Real Safety has a guide on 8 ways that safety boots protect you if you want to know more.
How can I make my work boots more comfortable?
Breaking in your work boots can take a few steps – OHS Canada has a guide on how to safely break in work boots. Walking around at home, testing the fit properly, and looking out for sore spots or areas that pinch can help you prepare before you use them for a full day at work.
To Sum Up – Which Are the Best Waterproof Boots for Work?
We like the Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock Waterproof Shoe. They’re comfortable, they will keep your feet dry, and they’re great from a safety perspective with their composite reinforced toes.
If you’re working in cold weather, it’s worth checking out the Timberland PRO Men’s Direct Industrial Shoe. They don’t have reinforced toes, but they are good for outdoor work in cold temperatures.
We also like the Irish Setter Men’s Aluminum Toe Work Boots, which are great for safety.
If you have any work boot recommendations, we’d love to hear them in the comments!